City of Tshwane halts bus services citing bus driver intimidation by striking SAMWU employees

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The City of Tshwane has recalled its bus services due to South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu)-affiliated employees’ strike.

The union says issues include the bid for the controversial R26 billion to refurbish the Pretoria West and Rooiwal Power Stations and the non-payment of a 3,5% salary increase.

SAMWU Provincial Secretary, Mpho Tladinyane had said the march would start in Marabastad and proceed to Tshwane House to the office of City Mayor Randall Williams.

The city’s spokesperson Selby Bokaba says some striking workers were intimidating the drivers.

“We had to recall the buses that had gone out and resolved to stop those that were scheduled to go out due to the strike action in the CBD. Most of the bus service afternoon shifts depart from the CBD to residential areas. We’d like to apologise to our bus commuters for the inconvenience caused. We had to take the decision to protect our assets, drivers, as well as commuters,” says Bokaba.

Meanwhile, Williams says he welcomes any investigation following accusations that he interfered with procurement processes in the R26-billion tender bid for energy supply.

Williams is accused of directing the city manager to appoint an energy service provider for the Pretoria West and Rooiwal Power Stations, which have not been in use since 2014.

This was contained in a leaked audio recording, which Randall says was decontextualized.

Attempting to set the record straight as his future as mayor of the capital hangs by a thread.

Williams denies pursuing any tender and says the proposal was an investment that would not have cost the metro.

Opposition parties are calling for him to be charged – a call he says, he welcomes.

“I have nothing to hide. The reports are public documents. All the reports are available for scrutiny. There are accusations against me that are quite frankly defamatory. I will be engaging with my attorneys on the legal action against the individuals concerned. As I announced on Tuesday, I have nothing to hide. Anyone can listen to that 90-minute clip and hear how we robustly discussed the proposal. There is nothing untoward in this.”

Opposition parties, the ANC, EFF and coalition partner ActionSA, claimed the deal was a tender bid for which residents of Tshwane would have had to foot the bill for the next 30 years.

Williams denies this and says the project would be fully funded by investors and no financial commitments were made.